ICMA / Priorities / Public Policy / Policy Priorities / Veterans' Resources / Employment


Unemployment is the greatest challenge facing post-9/11 veterans. In January 2011, unemployment was 30.2 % for 18 to 24 year old veterans. Unfortunately unemployment has an exponential impact as everything pivots on employment — health, housing, education, family well-being, and the transition to civilian life.

Translating military occupations into civilian language

One of the biggest hurdles for employment among veterans is translating military experience into language civilians can understand. Check out Military.com's military job decoder

Government Executive magazine's April 2014 How to Tap Military Experience for Executive Jobs highlights the Leveraging Military Leadership Program, which offers executive coaches and talent management experts to help transitioning veterans communicate and apply their leadership skills to the civilian sector.

Veterans of Foreign Wars, March 2014 Breaking Barriers article focused on the 126,000 service members who need civilian certification and credentials in fields where they already have experience.

Military to local government

As senior managers in local governments begin to retire, and cities and counties look for the next generation of local government managers, there are numerous officers transitioning out of the military. Members of the military share the same passion for public service and the same work ethic.

Best places for veterans to find jobs

USAA Magazine, Winter 2013 issue listed the 10 Best Places for Veterans to Find Jobs: five of these cities have council-manager form of government.

  • Dallas, TX
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Austin, TX
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Resources and Programs

  • The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans provides grants and training services, and offers direction to agencies that will educate and prepare homeless veterans for future employment. 
  • The National Restaurant Association supports servicemen and women, veterans, and their spouses through the National Restaurant Association Military Foundation. The foundation provides career training and counseling; supports military hospitality programs; and encourages small-business ownership opportunities for military personnel.
  • SecurityJobs.net offers links to careers in private security services.
  • The site "Learn How to Become" has additional resources for veterans researching employment options.

International city/County Management Association

  • 777 North Capitol Street, NE Suite 500
  • Washington, DC 20002-4201
  • 800-745-8780/202-962-3680
  • Fax: 202-962-3500
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